Trump Seeks Limited Changes to Obama Cuba Policy
- Author: Aubrey Nash Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 6:12
US planes flew there.
A recent poll by U.S.travel agency Insight Cuba indicates that six out of 10 Americans plan to visit the island in the next two years, a figure that could increase US visitors to nearly 2 million annually.
Regarding the situation after the announcement, Williams noted that Engage Cuba would analyze the concrete regulations to be adopted in places like the Departments of the Treasury and of Commerce, and it will try to incorporate experts to those negotiations so that the criteria of those involved can be heard.
The policy rewrite, completed Wednesday ahead of Trump's Friday announcement in Miami, represents a major political achievement for Rubio, who cited Cuba as one of the reasons for seeking reelection to the Senate past year, and for Diaz-Balart, the only one of three local Cuban-American Republican lawmakers who endorsed Trump.
Trump will not go so far as to sever diplomatic ties with Havana or shutter the US embassy that reopened there in 2015.
"We want the relationship very much to be one in which we encourage people through economic interaction and that process has hopefully been started", an official told reporters Thursday.
Some restrictions on American travel may be reimposed, along with limits on how often Cuban Americans can travel and send money.
Speaking in Washington this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Obama's reforms effectively removed pressure on the Cuban regime to alter its behaviour. "I don't think you would see him go back to the embargo wholesale, look for ways to leverage America's influence over Cuba in a way that will encourage greater freedom for the Cuban people and economic interaction". Rather, it is the smart use of USA economic power to continue to put pressure on the Castro regime for its continued human-rights abuses, even as Americans interact directly with the Cuban people. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, two of the hardest Cuban hard-liners in Congress. He's embraced the Philippines' Duterte, who boasts of extra-judicial killings, and granted Egypt's president a White House welcome, to say nothing of a bromance with Vladimir Putin that would make Oliver Stone blush. After all, the damaging USA trade embargo remains in place and they are struggling to get by as the economy wrestles with falling exports and a decline in oil shipments from key ally Venezuela. The Cuban government headed by Raúl Castro, the late Castro's brother, he said, "is a narco-terrorist tyranny, and we know President Trump understands this". They've found little success, said Jaime Suchlicki, director of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. "I have so many friends from Cuba".
Obama argued that five decades of US trade sanctions had failed to achieve that goal or dislodge the Castros from power.
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and placed an official embargo against the country in 1962.
The results have been uneven. Bringing back Cuban cigars, even for those who had government permission to visit the island, was long illegal.
In its statement, the Trump administration said its new policy "reverses the Obama administration's support for the communist Castro regime and its military apparatus, and instead aligns the United States with the Cuban people". More information will be available on the WhiteHouse.gov in the future, and will be delivered by Trump himself soon. The pro-business leaders said travel and trade with Cuba boosts American businesses and spread free market ideals to the island.
An increase in tourism and hotel construction has been one of the few bright spots in the Cuban economy. In turn, the new measures taken by the Trump administration might restrain the economic opportunities of USA companies in Cuba, especially those connected with the tourist industry. Among more than 4 million visitors a year ago, a record, 615,000 came from the United States, more than half of them Cuban Americans. Many Cubans did better.
"The Trump administration is taking exactly the wrong approach if it really wants to spur improvements in the human rights climate in Cuba".